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[drahy-uh d, -ad] /ˈdraɪ əd, -æd/
noun, plural dryads, dryades
[drahy-uh-deez] /ˈdraɪ əˌdiz/ (Show IPA).
(often initial capital letter) Classical Mythology.
a deity or nymph of the woods.
Compare hamadryad.
Origin of dryad
1545-55; extracted from Greek Dryádes, plural of Dryás, derivative of drŷ(s) tree, oak
Related forms
[drahy-ad-ik] /draɪˈæd ɪk/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for dryad
Historical Examples
  • Science (or rather half-way science) scoffs at reminiscence of dryad and hamadryad, and of trees speaking.

    Complete Prose Works Walt Whitman
  • All his life he longed to see the dryad whom he had lost for ever.

  • As I gazed at the dryad's hair my voice unconsciously dropped to a lifeless monotone.

    A Maid of the Kentucky Hills Edwin Carlile Litsey
  • He bit his tongue painfully in covering that slip, but dryad had not seemed to notice it.

    Once to Every Man Larry Evans
  • Unless luck were with him on his search, he might not reach the dryad for days.

    Winnie Childs C. N. Williamson
  • This was, that a kiss from a dryad made a person ten years younger.

    Children's Literature Charles Madison Curry
  • There was a reason, then, for the complex, warring nature of the dryad.

    A Maid of the Kentucky Hills Edwin Carlile Litsey
  • This was that a kiss from a dryad made a person ten years younger.

    A Chosen Few Frank R. Stockton
  • But the dryad affair took place before this decision was made public.

    The Great Company Beckles Willson
  • And I squeezed also the hand of the dryad, and blushed when I danced with her.

    Rowlandson's Oxford A. Hamilton Gibbs
British Dictionary definitions for dryad


/ˈdraɪəd; -æd/
noun (pl) -ads, -ades (-əˌdiːz)
(Greek myth) a nymph or divinity of the woods
Derived Forms
dryadic (draɪˈædɪk) adjective
Word Origin
C14: from Latin Dryas, from Greek Druas, from drus tree
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for dryad

1550s, from Latin dryas, from Greek dryas (plural dryades) "wood nymph," from drus (genitive dryos) "oak," from PIE *deru- "tree, wood, oak" (see tree (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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